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M: Maternity/Paternity Leave

Paid family leave combats poverty, gives children a healthy start, and lowers the wage gap between women and men by providing structural support to balance work and family.

Selena's Story

Selena's baby boy, Connor, was born six weeks early. As Connor was rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care unit, Selena found herself alone in a hospital bed realizing that she was going to go home well before her baby. "There was no way we could afford for me to take off more than we planned,” recalls Selena. So after Selena had the baby on Thursday, she was released from the hospital Friday, and was back at her desk on Monday morning. “It was the hardest two and a half weeks of my life,” she says recalling the ache of being away from her newborn son.

Click here to watch a segment of the Motherhood Manifesto documentary to learn more about Selena's story and why we all need access to paid family and medical leave.


Know the Facts

  • Right now only 13 (!!!) percent of Americans have access to paid family leave through their employer and only 37% have personal medical leave provided through an employer.
  • Although the current Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows some employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave, it only covers about 60 percent of employees.
  • A quarter of all poverty spells in the United States are because of having a baby.
  • The U.S is one of the only countries in the world that doesn't offer paid leave to new mothers.
  • Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality).
  • Paid leave improves worker retention, which saves employers money through reduced turnover cost.


What You Can Do

MomsBlogging on Maternity & Paternity Leave

Fight the opioid crisis -> Tell Congress to protect Medicaid and support paid family & medical leave

Posted July 14, 2017 by Ruth Martin

I’m from wild and wonderful West Virginia. It’s a state known for its rugged, natural beauty. Unfortunately, it’s also known for being one of the states hardest hit by the opioid crisis. [1] I know that solving the opioid crisis is not an easy fix. I also know that right now there are two things [...]

It’s time to get serious about paid family leave

Posted July 11, 2017 by Meghan Martin

As a parent, I know what it is like to be worried about your child’s health and well-being — and to have financial worries on top of that. When I gave birth to my daughter Ella at 28 weeks, she weighed 2 lbs. and 1 oz. She was and is the best thing that has ever happened [...]

Anything we can do, we can literally do it while growing a human inside of us?

Posted July 7, 2017 by To-wen Tseng

There has been a video circulating on the Internet. It shows Serena Williams playing in the Australian Open, Gal Gadot doing Wonder Woman reshoots, Alysia Montano racing at U.S. Championships, Beyoncé dancing on the stage, Nur Syryani Mohd Taibi shooting at Olympics, all during their pregnancy. The video concluded with “Anything you can do, we [...]

Posted Under: paid family leave

WA Paid Family & Medical Leave is LAW! ‘A Great Day for All Washingtonians’

Posted July 5, 2017 by MomsRising

As Gov. Inslee Signs Groundbreaking Law, States Get Powerful Blueprint for Building a Strong Paid Family and Medical Leave Program from Scratch   In a monumental victory for Washington State, its families, small, medium and large businesses and its economy, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee today signed SB 5975 into law, bringing us closer to the [...]

Posted Under: paid family leave
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